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82-year-old George Murphy is no stranger to danger. He is a Bush pilot in Alaska and for three decades flew for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. But Friday, nature got the best of him.
He was out walking his Golden Retrievers near the Willow Airport when he spotted an agitated moose.
"He was way off. Jeez, he spotted me and he started to come right after me. So I was trying to get to the truck. But I didn't make it," Murphy told the Anchorage Daily News.
Exposed, Murphy attempted to dive into a snow bank for protection. "He started to stomp. Then he turned around and stomped again" says Murphy. "And there was nothing I could do. I was afraid he was going to kill me."
His wife, 85-year-old Dorothea Taylor, heard the commotion as she waited in the truck. She got out to investigate and saw both dogs barking and snapping at either end of the animal. She yelled for her husband to help, not knowing he was in the snow.
The moose turned and started toward her. Taylor ran back to the truck, opened the tailgate and grabbed a grain shovel. She banged on the shovel making a racket as she headed back towards the moose, which was back stomping at its original target.
Taylor, 5 feet tall and 97 pounds, walked up to the moose and started hitting the animal with the shovel. After a few blows, the moose walked off and Taylor saw that the animal was stomping her husband.
Panic, Taylor ran to one of the hangers at the airport and called for help. Her husband was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage where he is recovering from broken ribs and a large gash in his head.